Apple certainly wasn’t the first to introduce the fingerprint scanner in the iPhone, but it did take it to town when it debuted the Touch ID in iPhone 5S.
A host of high-end smartphones (including arch-rival Samsung’s Galaxy S6 and S7) have since introduced their own biometric scanners, and the feature is no longer a novelty but a necessity.
What’s interesting though is the fact that even low-end devices now sport the feature that was once considered too expensive for even mid-tier smartphones.
We take a look at the 5 cheapest smartphones in Dubai featuring the now-ubiquitous fingerprint sensor.
1. Blu Life Mark
Priced at Dh399, Blu Life Mark is perhaps the most affordable fingerprint sensor smartphone in the Middle East. Running on Android 5.1 Lollipop OS, BLU Life Mark sports a 5-inch HD display with 1280x720 pixels resolution and a 1.3GHz quad-core MediaTek processor paired with 2GB of RAM.
Other features include dual-sim functionality, and 4G, LTE, 3G, Wi-Fi, Bluetooth and GPS as connectivity options. A 13MP rear camera comes with LED flash and is paired with a 5 MP front camera. Device has 16 GB storage (expandable up to 64 GB with a microSD card).
Available exclusively at Souq.com, the Life Mark is the US-based Blu’s debut device for the Middle East. Available from April 24 in the UAE and Saudi Arabia, Souq.com will also give Virtual Reality headsets to the first 50 buyers, besides offering vouchers worth Dh50 / SAR50 to 50 ‘lucky’ buyers (plus free Souq shipping on all orders on first day of launch).
2. Coolpad Note 3 Lite
Available for Dh699 at JadoPado, the Chinese Coolpad Note 3 Lite comes with 4G LTE connectivity, 13MP rear and 5MP front cameras, and a 5" display. The device runs on Android v5.1 Lollipop OS with 1.3GHz Cortex-A53 MT6735 Mediatek quad core processor, 3GB RAM, 16GB internal memory expandable up to 32GB and dual micro-SIM dual standby (4G+4G).
Its advanced fingerprint sensor takes only 0.5 seconds to unlock the screen, and can automatically detect dry or wet fingers for better accuracy. Coolpad boasts that, with a reliability test of ten million presses and 2.0 technology, Note 3 Lite’s fingerprint sensor can be used for 9 years. It claims that its identification accuracy has increased by 99.99 per cent with the application of PFE mode enhancement resolution, which is sensitive and self-learning, making the identification accuracy and speed better with time.
3. Honor 5X
Priced at Dh799 at Jumbo Electronics, Huawei Honor’s 5X phablet is loaded with features and specs, including the fingerprint scanner. “The Honor 5X is set to change consumers’ mind when it comes to price versus quality as it is packed with premium features that have never been seen before in its price category,” Chris Sunbaigong, Vice-President of Honor, said during the device’s Dubai launch earlier this year in February.
“We challenge you to look at the specs, look at the price, then look back at the specs and not be impressed,” says Chris. The second-generation adaptive fingerprint sensor of the 5X allows linking up to 10 fingerprints to access personalised elements of their device – you can assign the phone to call a specific contact with one fingerprint – say, your index finger. Then, you may assign your thumbprint to activate a different app – a feature that works in the lock-screen mode too.
Using advanced technology, it boasts a self-learning capability that also prevents failed recognition caused by wet hands or partial fingerprints.
4. Lenovo K4 Note
Available for Dh809 at LetsTango.com, the Lenovo K4 Note A7010 Dual SIM houses a lot of features: 5.5inch Full HD IPS display, built-in TheaterMax (cinematic viewing experience), twin front facing Dolby Atmos speakers, and a 3 mic system that filters out external surrounding noise.
The dual-SIM phone runs on Android Lollipop OS and incorporates a fingerprint scanner. A built-in 32GB ROM can be expanded to up to 128GB via a microSD card. 4G LTE support is standard; the smartphone also supports WiFi 802.11 a, b, g, n, ac frequencies, besides Bluetooth v4.0, NFC, and A GPS.
Device sports 3300mAh Lithium Polymer battery and comprises of a 64 bit MediaTek MT6753 Octa Core CPU, 2GB RAM, and Mali T720 MP3 GPU.
5. Samsung Galaxy S5 Mini
Priced at Dh904 at Souq.com, the Samsung Galaxy S5 Mini SM G800F smartphone comes loaded with virtually all the features of its big bro Galaxy S5 I9600. This device features a 4.5inch Super Amoled display that helps produce HD 1280 x 720p resolution images.
An advanced fingerprint scanner that is programmed to recognise the unique fingerprint of the user comes embedded in this device, just like in the S5 I9600. The Galaxy S5 Mini SM G800F features a highly responsive, accurate fingerprint scanner set in its home key. The scanner unlocks the phone with the swipe of your finger. And like its sibling, this phone is IP67 rated too.
Runs on Android Kitkat OS v4.4, and comes with an 8MP CMOS rear and a 2.1MP CMOS front camera. Supports connectivity to 4G LTE. A 1.4GHz quad core processor may not be nest-in-class but delivers the power needed. A 1.5GB RAM is paired with 16GB ROM, further expandable to up to 64GB.